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Friday, May 24, 2013

Life in Ghana

I'm on Day 6 here in Ghana and am starting to settle in.  My morning regime is pretty simple now.  I throw a wet washcloth on my face and tie my hair up in a pony tail.  I still refuse to give up my mascara.   ;-)

We have gotten a lot done in the past week - a visit with the lawyer and a visit with the boys' family members and "family representative".   Part of the adoption process is that Social Services investigate the boys' situation and background to determine they are in fact orphans and that it is in their best interest to be adopted into another family.

Joseph and Askia were taken to "Antie Mary" (orphanage)  11 years ago after their father died and their mother became unable to care for them.  Their grandfather, Thomas Osei, tried his best to care for the children but because of his health and age, he was unable.  He made the decision to bring them to the orphanage.  

After meeting with him yesterday, it is apparent he loves these children and did the best he could for them at the time.  He was very vocal about his appreciation for all that Mary had done for his grandchildren.

Thomas is a retired Catholic Catachist.  He is a very friendly, happy, jovial man with a great sense of humor.  It's been my observation that most Ghanaians (men especially) keep a stern, serious look on their faces.  It drives me crazy because they have such beautiful smiles and are actually very friendly and kind.  I guess it's a macho thing.  ;-)

Thomas also spoke great English and I loved the fact he greeted Evan directly with a big smile.  We all agreed we could understand where the boys got their friendly, happy disposition. 

Evan is doing great here.  I worry about him getting enough to eat but I've discovered an International Market in Kumasi, where I grabbed some generic "Oodles of Noodles".   He also puts Peanut Butter on Granola Bars and Tuna out of packs we brought from home. 

Today we are taking all the boys to Kumasi for the weekend and will stay at Treasure Land Hotel for a couple nights so they can swim in the pool and get a change of scenery.  For Joseph and Askia, this was their very first night ever out of Offinso and first night in a "hotel".   And even though they told me they could swim, I'm pretty sure that was their first time in a pool as well.   Boy will they have a lot of "firsts" coming up when they get to America.  I can hardly wait to see their faces when we take them to our pool and to Cape Charles.

My journey here in Ghana is quite an eye opener and as hard as it is, I am glad I am getting to experience life through the eyes of my boys.  I have such a greater understanding of where they come from and such a greater appreciation for my life in America.  And the irony in all of it is that these people are so full of Joy and Love and appreciation.  I never once sense they are bitter or resentful.  And even the ones not coming to America; yet knowing their friends are going, are genuinely happy for their friends.  There is no jelousy or competition here. 

These sweet children and sweet people of Ghana are truly "gems" and I am forever grateful I have been able to get to know each of them. 

Going into this Memorial Day Weekend, I think of my family heading to Cape Charles together and am so sad to not be going.  We are missing you all terribly and look forward to all being together soon.


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